Twice as many adults are reporting symptoms of depression during the pandemic. Depression is a state in which you feel down for a period of at least 2 weeks or longer. No, you are not lazy, have too much time, or anything similar. Depression is a condition that can be caused by traumatic experiences and paired with changed (improper) brain chemistry. Going through the pandemic is a life changing experience and many people this new situation is causing a lot of mental stress.
Many have lost their jobs, struggle with health issues and are worried about their future. It’s easy to fall into a negative spiral of eating too much, not doing any exercise, having too much screen time and staying up all night watching TV. To some, having a drink once a week suddenly turns into a few drinks every day. Playing some fun games suddenly turns into daily losses at online casinos. Compulsive gambling, excessive eating and just another drink, can quickly turn into addictive behavior and lead to depression. Online casinos educate their customers in what they call “responsible gambling” to avoid unhealthy gambling and “responsibility” is really the key to balance. Staying healthy has a lot to do with keeping balance by maintaining good habits also during difficult times.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to cope with the situation, keep your balance and make yourself less vulnerable to mental health problems during the pandemic.
First thing to know – it takes time
The first thing to know is that there is no magic tactic or medication that will help you feel so much better instantly, this second. This may not be very comforting but it’s important to know that we are talking about making small, but important, changes to your lifestyle. Changes that will help you go through challenges times not only today, but also in the future. Even antidepressants need at least 2 weeks to start working and it’s the same when we talk about lifestyle changes.For those suffering through a clinical depression the recovery time can be very long and it’s important not to stop medication without the doctor’s approval. Depression needs time to be sorted out.
All of this means that if you decide to apply some of the good advice of this article, you will need to be consistent and invest some time into it. If you stop after one day, the treatment won’t work, obviously.
Believe it or not, wake-up exercising has a huge effect on depression. You will start feeling better within days and the results are amazing. You get more confidence, a better mood, and more energy. All the things a depressed person will need. When you wake up, exercise for 5 minutes. You can do it in bed or next to it. The effect of this, the 5-minute workout will last 12 hours!
This tip is commonly recommended by therapists and used as an addition to medications or other treatments. Keep in mind that you will need at least 5-6 days to feel the first results.
Try to do something new every single day
Depressed people are in their mental prison. You don’t have the energy and you don’t have the desire to get out. This is a mistake and it will make your symptoms worse over time. The reasons why you are here are countless. You may feel frightened to go out and do something, you may believe others don’t like depressed people or something completely else.
The solution is to start and try doing a new thing every single day. You can start small with painting, making something from wood, or making something from anything. Then you can lift that to the next level. You can start going out (alone), visiting a museum, walking, or anything in between. You will see that life isn’t completely black and there are more reasons to be happy than you believe.
When we are under stress, our body releases more and more of a hormone called cortisol. This hormone is known to cause depression, various other issues and to make you feel bad. Sadly, there is no single solution that will solve this issue. You will need to use various techniques, avoid stressful situations and so much more in order to decrease stress from your life.
Some stressful things and situations you cannot change such as job, traffic or etc. But, friends or people in general who can cause stress in your life can be avoided. Always try to find a way.
Sleep between 8 and 10 hours
Depression is known to cause hypersomnia and insomnia in patients. What this means is that you will want to sleep all day and all night or you won’t sleep at all. The key to managing depression is to sleep between 8 and 10 hours. If you sleep less, you will feel tired and have a lack of energy. If you sleep more than 10 hours, you will feel sleepy all day long.
Don’t forget that 8-10 hours of sleep suits most people with depression, but not all. Try to find a duration that fits you the most. The goal is to wake up in the morning when you are a bit sleepy. This feeling will perish within 10-20 minutes. Sleep is crucial for defeating depression or managing it.
The importance of keeping our brain active can not be emphasized enough. Puzzle, bingo, sudoku and board games are all considered to be brain-training games. They increase overall brain activity, boost attention, focus and memory. Playing games will help you feel better regardless of age as they decrease anxiety (commonly paired with depression), improve mood, and boost self-esteem. Just remember the part about “responsible” gaming mentioned above.
Depression is a condition like no other but few people fall straight into it. To most people it’s a process over a shorter, or longer, period of time often related to changes in nutrition, sleep and activities. When we hit what we feel is the bottom it may look like there is no tomorrow, that everything has turned black and if you start to feel there is no reason to live, then seek professional help immediately! Don’t wait another minute! By following the advice of this article you will have a better chance of not getting into this dark place, but if you do, remember there is a brighter tomorrow!